We have linked to a few web sites (below) in English which talk about the tango experience in Buenos Aires, but we’ve really only seen Tango in a few places. Cafe Tortoni (where they put on a show for tourists), the San Telmo market and street fair (where they dance in the square with the purpose of getting you to come and do tango with them at a club/ballroom), and Confiteria Ideal.
Our favorite place was, by far, Confiteria Ideal. People actually go there to learn, meet new partners, make new friends, and generally have a good time.
We’re sure there are other places to tango dance in Buenos Aires. In fact, there are probably hundreds of other places to dance tango, and learn tango, in the city – we just didn’t visit those places.
The fact that we didn’t visit a bunch of places to dance tango, is kind of like our swing dance experience in the US. In Colorado, we know of a few places to go swing dancing, because we love to swing dance. We also know of a couple places to go salsa dancing, because Adam and Laura love salsa and invite us to go pretty frequently. We enjoy salsa too. If you’re into swing, then you can find it everywhere. If you’re into salsa, you can find it everywhere. You just go looking for it because you love it and love to do it. (Kevin Gianni actually made this realization for us while he was here, but I think it’s very true.)
The same thing applies for tango. If you come here expecting to learn tango, just do a little looking, and you’re bound to find it.
Despite taking a class before coming to Buenos Aires, we didn’t dance tango ourselves while were here. (They did play some swing music at Confiteria Ideal, so we got up and danced to that a few times.) We may have been intimidated by the experience level of the people we saw dancing at Confiteria Ideal, (we are total newbies when it comes to tango), but mostly I think we just enjoyed watching other people dancing and listening to the live orchestras made up of violins, a bass, a piano, 2-5 bandoneons (like an accordion, but boxy – see the picture), and sometimes also a singer.
As I said, our favorite place to watch tango was Confiteria Ideal. I made some videos of the two “shows” we saw there.
If you decide to head to Confiteria Ideal, as of right now, lessons are Tuesday and Wednesday nights
To see one of these shows, you’ll want to check their schedule on their web site (in espanol), but we went on Thursday nights both times we went. We think that these shows are most likely to happen on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, seeing as they don’t start until very late.
Well, we arrived at 10:30 PM. There was music playing over the sound system, and people dancing, but the orchestra did not start until 1:15AM (ish), and the show didn’t happen until 2:30 AM. So, on the day you plan to go, it might be wise to take a little siesta, and plan on staying until the wee hours of the morning.
As you’ll see from the videos below, staying for the tango shows is completely worthwhile.
And, by no means should you consider our post to be an authority on the subject of Tango in Buenos Aires. I’ve also posted links below to a couple of Buenos Aires tango-related sites we’ve found useful below. They should help you when searching for places to Tango in Buenos Aires.
(Each of the 8 videos below is a different dance and different music… just so you know.)
A Little Different Style
TangoScopio (in Espanol)
If you know of other great sites about tango in Buenos Aires, please feel free to post them in the comments below.
Also, if you loved the videos, or think they need improvement, or would like to see something else in them, I’d love to know. (It was a last-minute decision to record them with my little digital camera, and it did a good job with the low lighting in the place, but any comments on the videos are welcomed.)